Like I was “eating” in Memphis…

After a brief hiatus, I returned to the Foodie Pen Pal fold for another month of care packages in flat rate boxes to people in various corners of the country. The program was created about a year ago by a soon to be Registered Dietician, Lindsay. Instead of sending letters to your randomly selected pen pal, you send a package of treats created by you within a budget of $15. Along with your package you include something handwritten that lets them know a little about you and/or why you chose what you did for them. In return, you also receive a package from a totally different foodie pen pal filled with treats and notes. Each month the cycle begins again with new pairings, so you have the opportunity to share and get to know people from all corners of the US and Canada.

I love her penmanship…and how cute is her business card/bookmark combo??

This month I was paired with the Sweetie Petitti a.k.a. Susie P. Tilton – blogger, baker, crafter and cook. On top of the heaps of creations, culinary and cloth, featured on her blogs are her famous sugar cookies. The note she included in my care package expressed her regret at not being able to send a batch to me due to the INSANE heat we have been experiencing. They would have been destroyed in transit. When we were paired, I sent her an email expressing how I had missed food. The heat and activities of daily life had rendered my sustenance to watermelon, gallons of water and yogurts. I craved savory and sweet, hearty and homey. What arrived was like a mother’s love wrapped in red tissue paper sent from Tennessee.

She works for William Sonoma, which is like a chef/baker’s Mecca.

Inside was included a Granola Cookie Bar Mix, which I could bake into bars or use in other recipes – say muffins, pancakes or a crumble. The pot holder was an unexpected perk. I recently tore my kitchen apart in an epic cleanse and was in need of a good pot holder. Thank you Susie for protecting my hands from the tiny burns I normally get using a ratty ass kitchen towel. The jelly beans and dark chocolate were a sweet afterthought, pocket sized and perfect for a random late night craving for sugar. It happens. Sometimes watermelon just doesn’t cut it.

‘Chopped’ mystery basket ingredients of your dreams…

The most special part of the package came in the form of the above two ingredients. The Rendezvous is one of Memphis, TN most famous BBQ spots, as Susie wrote in her note to me. Their famous seasoning can be “rubbed” on meat, seafood and veggies bringing a taste of Memphis to any table. She mentioned how good their grilled shrimp rubbed in this stuff were, which inspired me to cook in spite of the recent 100 degree temps. Heat wave be damned. I’m turning on my oven. The other ingredient is organic brown rice from a family friend’s farm. Grilled shrimp pilaf ala Memphis anyone?

Thank you for the love you put in this package, my Sweetie Petitti. Perfect timing.

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